Horses To Follow » Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa put up a really good performance to finish second to Mohawk in the Group 3 Meld Stakes. Held up early on by Billy Lee, the Niarchos Family’s colt was being niggled along and was still second last of the seven runners as they raced to the home turn. Moved towards the outside at the top of the home straight, he stayed on really well through the final two furlongs to take second. He was still only sixth a furlong and a half out, and he had no answer to the turn of foot that Mohawk showed, but there was a lot to like about the manner in which he kept on all the way to the line. He was beaten two lengths by the winner, but he finished a length and a half in front of third-placed Ancient Spirit.

It was a good performance by Willie McCreery’s colt. Mohawk is a classy performer of Aidan O’Brien’s, a 112-rated colt who won the Royal Lodge Stakes last year and who was beaten just over a length by his stable companion Circus Maximus in the Dee Stakes on his debut this season. Also, it was only the third run of Up Helly Aa’s life, so he should improve for it. He raced as if he would improve for a step up from this nine-furlong trip too. He is really well bred, by Galileo out of Matron Stakes winner Fiesolana, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next. He holds an entry in the Royal Whip Stakes at The Curragh on Friday evening over 10 furlongs, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in that.

Leopardstown, 18th July 2019